The Damaging Effects of Poor Sleep

Natural Sleep Aids- the Oldest, New Approach to Sleep

Sleep is widely recognized as critical for the health and well-being of the entire body, as well as the mind, and psyche. That is why, when we don’t get enough sleep, health and ability to function may decline.

To achieve great sleep, we must first understand how sleep works, the effect of poor sleep on the body, what inhibits sleep, and what we can do to improve our sleep hygiene.

Sleep Statistics

One out of three adults get less than the recommended eight hours of sleep. In the U.S., this means 50-70 million Americans are struggling to get through their days due to a lack of shut-eye, and the outlook is not promising according to the Report of the National Commission on Sleep Disorders Research. The report estimates the amount of time Americans spend sleeping has decreased by 20% over the past century.

While the amount of sleep needed decreases with age from 17 hours as a baby to 8 hours as adults, the percent of individuals getting less than the recommended amount of sleep increases from 37% in young adults, age 18-40, to roughly 50% for adults over 65. 5

Social Factors

Age isn’t the only factor found to impact sleep. Gender, relationship status, employment, and familial history can all play a role. In the elderly, women are twice as likely to find sleep elusive. Single females have more difficulty sleeping than those with partners, and sleep is more likely to elude men who are unemployed. 10

The Cost of Poor Sleep- How Much are Americans Willing to Pay?

As noted by the Division of Sleep Medicine at Harvard Medical School, sleep deprivation was shown to play a critical role in several of the modern world’s catastrophes. Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were linked to sleep difficulties as were the Exxon Valdez oil spill and Challenger explosion. Not likely to be near a nuclear power plant, ocean tanker, or spaceship—how about a car? The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 72,000 car crashes each year, with potentially 6,000 of them being fatal, are due to drowsiness. Poor sleep is known to cause fatigue as well as impair judgement, attention, and reaction time.

Sleep Affects your Future

In addition to the toll on our environment and potential for car crashes, poor sleep affects our bottom line with estimates for economic loss as a country ranging from $280-411 billion today, including the $16 billion spent on medical costs related to sleep deficits, to $318-456 billion by 2030. These estimates are based on the 1.23 million days of absenteeism caused by poor sleep. Indeed, individuals suffering from lack of sleep report spending more days in bed, less activity during the day, and, at the very least, an inability to perform to expectations. 4

The inability to perform well due to lack of sleep can begin early in life and have far reaching consequences. One study claims 87% of U.S. high school students don’t get enough sleep. This can impact not only their immediate health and performance, but futures as well. If they aren’t getting good sleep, academic performance may suffer, potentially impacting future economic status and stress levels, which in turn could impact sleep sending them spiraling into a vicious cycle.

The Effects of Poor Sleep on the Body

Impaired sleep has been shown to effect:

  • Nervous system function.
  • Cognitive function: The rapid eye movement (REM) stage of sleep has been shown to play an important role in the health of brain regions critical for learning with math skills being particularly impaired by a lack in sleep.
  • Cellular function, growth, and repair.
  • Diminished sleep has been shown to impact physical performance, which may contribute to falls, accidents, and an increase in institutionalization in the elderly.
  • Mood: Individuals suffering from a lack of sleep can be afflicted with a volatile cocktail of moodiness, irritability, frustration, impulsiveness, aggression, and a lack of motivation along with being less capable of handling daily stressors.
  • Immune system health and function.
  • GI health.

Indeed, individuals suffering from poor sleep have reported a significantly lower health-related quality of life than those not impacted by poor sleep. Even if we think we have adapted to a life with less sleep, health may continue to decline, making intervention necessary.

Implement a Consistent Sleep Schedule

A consistent sleep schedule is a key part of sleep hygiene. A regular routine helps relax the body and mind, and increases overall energy. For adults, experts recommend setting a bedtime that allows for at least 7-9 hours of sleep, and going to bed and rising at the same time every day, including on the weekend. However, trying to force sleep can be counterproductive, as well.

The first step in combating the effects of dysfunctional sleep is identifying the source of the issue. For some, modifications in lifestyle or a slight shift in priorities could make all the difference. Sleep hygiene refers to habits and choices that impact sleep quality.

One study found individuals who practice good sleep hygiene felt very productive, while individuals with sleep difficulties rated their effectiveness poorly. In fact, 65% of Americans believe sleep enhances productivity, but only 10% actually adjust schedules to ensure a good night’s sleep.

Soothing external and internal environments are also part of good sleep hygiene and can help sleep come easier. The bedroom should be quiet, dark and slightly cooler.

What Causes Sleep Issues?

Electronic devices, especially anything with a screen, should not only be removed from the room but avoided for 30 minutes prior to sleep. Electronic device use has been cited as one of the reasons youths incur sleep deficits. Anything that may stimulate the internal environment of the body should be avoided before bed including nicotine and large meals or amounts of fluid, especially caffeine and alcohol.

In fact, substance abuse has been shown to impair sleep. Physical activity during the day actually helps promote a good night’s sleep but is counterproductive before bed. Practicing good sleep hygiene can help restore sleep. However, the answer can be more elusive for others.

Poor sleep rarely comes unaccompanied. Low mood and anxiousness are frequently discovered as sources of restless sleep. One study found that individuals lacking emotional self-control tend to report poor sleep quality, which can feed back into emotional instability.

Other causes of poor sleep include:

  • Stress
  • Worry about financial situations
  • Excess weight
  • Significant life changes
  • Menopause
  • Immune issues

In summary, sleep is an important part of healthy nervous and immune system function. For individuals that do not respond to improvements in sleep hygiene, a sleep supplement may be necessary to support and offset the vicious cycle of sleep deficits and related health issues.

Understanding How Sleep Works Can Help

Sleep is complex and overall sleep quality is impacted by several different components including sleep hygiene, sleep onset, duration of sleep, and daytime drowsiness. Resteva is a sleep supplement that promotes the body’s natural REM and non-REM (NREM) sleep states by supporting the modulation of circadian sleep-wake cycles.*

REM and NREM are the two phases of the sleep cycle. REM is the stage most people are familiar with; it is when dreams that individuals may recall occur. NREM includes light sleep where waking occurs easily and deep sleep, which is the most regenerative form of sleep.

Deep sleep is also when sleepwalking, bed-wetting, and night terrors occur. It is hard to wake someone in this stage, and if they do wake, they are often disoriented and are groggy. The body cycles through NREM followed by REM every 90-110 minutes with NREM phases shrinking and REM phases growing each cycle. However, if REM sleep is disrupted, the body will begin the sleep cycle there until it catches up on that stage.

Before the REM/NREM cycle can begin, the body’s natural circadian rhythm must signal it is time to sleep. The circadian rhythm in humans is a 24-hour cycle that includes sleep and wake, and one of the primary regulating factors is light. The sleep cycle begins when light disappears, and wake is initiated when light returns.

Control Lighting

The reason light control is an important part of sleep hygiene is that even low-intensity, indoor lighting has been found strong enough to prevent sleep cycle initiation. This is because light inhibits release of the sleep hormone melatonin. This hormone synchronizes the rhythms of the body and is produced in large amounts during the REM phase of the sleep cycle.

Shift workers exposed to light during the night can have altered circadian rhythms. In some cases, they may be unable to sleep even when light is removed. Lifestyles adjustments often lead to improvements in sleep, but it’s not always possible to make those changes.

While light and melatonin are important for the circadian rhythm, regulation of the sleep-wake cycle also includes signals from the nervous system.

One study found that GABA levels were 30% lower in patients with sleep difficulties compared to controls. GABA works by blocking wake-promoting signals.

Sleep and Age

Nerve cell production declines with age, including those that release GABA, which may explain why the elderly have shorter sleep-wake cycles. GABA is not just important for sleep. It also plays a role in controlling anxiousness and mood, which are strongly correlated with sleep deficits.

The abilities to fall asleep and stay asleep are directly dependent on GABA and melatonin. Without healthy levels, sleep onset, sleep duration, and daytime energy suffer, severely impacting overall sleep quality. The resulting sleep deficits prevent the body from regeneration, and impair mood and cognitive functions such as learning and memory while also reducing energy levels leading to drowsiness; significantly affecting every aspect of daily life.  A sleep supplement may be necessary to promote the rejuvenating sleep needed to once again enjoy life.

Resteva- a Synergistic Blend Targeting all Aspects of Sleep Quality

Resteva Sleep Intra-oral spray contains a blend of ingredients that promote deep and restful sleep by supporting sleep onset, lengthening sleep duration, and enhancing sleep quality without grogginess the next day.* Multiple ingredients in Resteva promote sleep onset.  Given all the factors that need to come together to initiate sleep, it’s no surprise that the number one sleep complaint is difficulty falling asleep.

Mindfully Chosen Ingredients

Melatonin has not only been shown to significantly reduce the time to sleep onset but covers other aspects of sleep quality, as well. Melatonin’s resynchronization effect has been employed to restore the circadian rhythm of shift workers, travelers, athletes, and blind individuals for improved sleep. It has also been shown to significantly lengthen sleep duration.

Individuals suffering from sleep deficits reported a significant improvement in overall sleep quality with the use of melatonin compared to placebo. One study showed melatonin enhanced overall sleep quality by reducing restlessness when compared to placebo.


As previously mentioned, GABA blocks wake-promoting signals to help with sleep initiation. Several botanicals found in Resteva support the effects of GABA and have been used to enhance sleep for many years. Passion flower is thought to exert its GABAergic effects through binding of the GABAA receptor. The effect has been used to reduce anxiousness associated with a wide variety of situations to improve sleep itself without adverse effects. Lemon balm also exerts a calming and sleep-enhancing effect but the mechanism is thought to do so through inhibition of GABA-transaminase.

Valerian Root

The final botanical in Resteva is valerian. It is thought to actually contain GABA. Valerian also supports melatonin and has been shown to reduce stress to facilitate sleep. The combination of valerian and lemon balm was shown to significantly reduce sleep difficulties in women suffering from sleep deficits compared to the placebo group.


The effects of GABA are also enhanced with the inclusion of 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP). One study found that the combination of GABA and 5-HTP resulted in significantly better sleep onset, duration and quality than either ingredient offered alone. 5-HTP is an amino acid that provides precursor support to melatonin.


L-theanine is the final ingredient in Resteva. Theanine has been shown to improve sleep quality by promoting calm without causing daytime grogginess.

Resteva Advanced Cellular Sleep

While each of the ingredients in Resteva has been shown to promote sleep directly or exert a calming effect on their own, the combination allows support for all aspects of sleep at one time. In addition to the ingredients, Intra-oral spray delivery provides additional important benefits:

  •  Promotes more rapid absorption and onset of effect and can be taken closer to bedtime and if needed during periods of wakefulness/interrupted sleep.
  •  Convenient and easy to use.

Resteva—a natural sleep formula for promoting deep, restful sleep.

Poor sleep affects every aspect of health. Establishing a routine that works is of the utmost importance. Take care of your body and rest easy with Resteva.


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